Posted On: September 22, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

FMCSA Posts Formal Ban on Texting While Driving for Truckers and Bus Operators

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has posted a formal rule that bars truckers and bus drivers from texting while operating their vehicles. Carriers are also not allowed to mandate or allow their drivers to text. The rule becomes effective 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register. If a driver is caught breaking the rule, penalty for conviction can be $11,000 for the carrier and $2,750 for the driver, who also can be disqualified.

Texting, per the FMCSA definition, does not include reading, choosing, or inputting a phone number, entering voicemail retrieval codes to receive or initiate a call, inputting, choosing, or reading information on a global positioning or navigation system, or using dispatch devices, fleet management system, smart phone, music player, citizens ban radio, or other devices that can perform numerous functions for purposes that are not prohibited.

Texting while driving is considered a dangerous habit for all motorists. Truck drivers are especially at high risk of getting involved in a truck crash when texting. At the second annual distracted driving summit in Washington DC this week, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new rulemaking that would ban truckers carrying hazardous materials from texting or using a cell phone. The DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has jurisdiction over all hazmat haulers.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers and your Chicago cell phone accident attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients that have been the victims of distracted driving accidents obtain their financial recovery. Contact us in Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, and Lake County, Illinois

Distracted driving continues to claim lives in Illinois and the rest of the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2009, 5,474 traffic deaths and 448,000 injuries occurred because someone was driving while distracted. Mr. LaHood, however, cautions that the actual figures are likely higher but that distracted driving isn’t always cited in reports as a cause of truck crashes, car accidents, bus collisions, motorcycle crashes, or pedestrian accidents.

FMCSA Posts Ban on Texting While Driving, TruckingInfo, September 22, 2010

DOT makes hazmat trucks no phone zones, Todays Trucking, September 22, 2010

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces 2009 Distracted Driving Fatality and Injury Numbers Prior to National Distracted Driving Summit, NHTSA, September 20, 2010

Related Web Resources:

US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Federal Register

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